The Congress: At the Brink

House Speaker Sam Rayburn found himself last week facing a dilemma somewhat akin to that of a gold prospector who spots a huge nugget on the far side of a chasm perhaps too wide to jump across. Splendid would be the reward if he leaped and made it; but then how painful the penalty if he missed. Understandably, Rayburn hesitated at the brink.

The nugget in Rayburn's case was what he would gain from victory in his battle to add three new members to the House Rules Committee, chaired by Virginia's courtly, conservative...

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